Marketers use competitive intelligence to shape their products, strategies, and messaging all the time. But one hugely overlooked area of analysis is “competitive technology intelligence.”
When applied to marketing, technology intelligence lets you discover the marketing technology (martech) stacks of your competition. Armed with these insights you can then identify potential gaps in your own martech stack and look for missed opportunities for driving growth and enhancing the customer experience.
Surprisingly, there’s an entire ecosystem of organizations happy to share what their martech stacks look like. There are even ways to uncover the stacks of organizations that choose not to share them.
You can use freely-available online discovery tools to find out where your competitors are investing for growth and what tools they’re betting on to get them there.
Here are four free tools that can help you understand what’s going on in your competitor’s martech stacks.
Take a look at your competitors’ stacks. They can show you helpful tools, insights into trends, and gaps in your own stack.
Why we like it: Discover your competitor’s martech stacks with an easy-to-use Chrome extension
Best for: Everyone
Ghostery is a browser extension that’s core premise is to improve your web performance by blocking tracking technologies and annoying pop-ups. In doing so, Ghostery also reveals the coding that martech tools embed into any website and the cookies they generate. This lets Ghostery users see which web tools their competitors are using to drive leads (HubSpot or Marketo, for example), analyze and measure traffic (Google Analytics, etc.), run remarketing ads, and more. To make these discoveries, simply add the Ghostery extension to a Chrome browser, visit any website, and click the extension from within the browser bar.
Ghostery can even reveal how many marketing technologies your business is using. Most companies underestimate the number of tools in their martech stacks, but Ghostery offers a service that lets you map how large your martech stack really is.
Why we like it: Easy-to-use, great graphic interface
Best for: Companies with enterprise or top brand competitors
Siftery (recently acquired by G2 Crowd) is an online searchable database of the technology solutions being used by top brands. Made possible through automated data collection and contributions from the Siftery community, the platform is designed to help businesses “better discover, buy and use software”.
You can quickly discover which solutions leading brands are using to build their tech stacks. Simply enter the business name in the search field and Siftery will return results based on business function (productivity and operations, marketing, DevOps and IT, and so on). Here’s an example of Salesforce’s tech stack, including its extensive martech stack of 70+ solutions. You can also use Siftery to compare companies with similar stacks, look for differences, or get recommendations for other products being used by companies like yours.
Why we like it: Explore stacks and why they’re loved
Best for: Developers and IT operations teams
StackShare is a crowdsourced service that lets companies display their entire open source software or SaaS stack with the goal of helping developers share knowledge about the tools they use and why they use them.
Like Siftery, StackShare is easy-to-use and navigate. You can browse a list of the top startups tech stacks here or search by company name (for example, here’s Netflix’s stack). Then, click on each app for details, such as the app’s popularity, why people like it, how many stacks use it, the number of integrations supported, and more.
It’s worth noting that StackShare’s listings tend to favor stacks that fall into the categories of application development and data (databases and big data tools), utilities, business productivity, and DevOps stacks. For this reason, other tools on our list may be a better fit for insight into competitor martech stacks.
Why we like it: Insights directly from any company’s website
Best for: Sales and marketing teams
Like Siftery, Datanyze reveals what technology a company uses right from that company’s website so you can learn everything you need to know about their martech stack in seconds.
Add the free extension to your Chrome browser, visit any site, hit the extension button and the tool instantly reveals high-level information such as current technology providers for marketing automation, e-commerce, data management, etc. as well as company information such as revenue and employees.
All of this makes Datanyze a great tool for both marketing and sales teams. For example, if you’re in the tech sector and want to understand more about your target prospects you can visit their site, see which technology they’re using today, pinpoint the right contact, and make a more informed sales pitch.
Use your insights wisely
While discovering the contents of your competitor’s martech stacks can provide valuable intel, it’s how you use those insights that matters. Rather than commit to an expensive arms race by trying to match what your competition is doing, look for missed opportunities for growth in your own stack and stay focused on your goals and multi-year objectives. By learning what your competition is using you can optimize your own martech stack to outperform them, improve each customer’s experience with your brand, and grow your business.